elin o'Hara slavick
Seventy Year Old Shadows of Hiroshima
July 16th - August 29th

Artist Reception on August 6, 2015 from 7-9PM
The 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima

Ghost Bottle, Cyanotype, 2012.


Cohen Gallery is proud to announce Seventy Year Old Shadows of Hiroshima, an exhibition featuring photographic works by elin o’Hara slavick.  The exhibition will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb.

The exhibited works are from the artist’s recent series, After Hiroshima, a visual essay on the incalculable loss from the dropping of Little Boy on Hiroshima.  In this series, slavick presents cyanotypes and pigment prints of ordinary objects that were transformed during – and that survived – the atomic explosion. The artist was allowed special permission inside the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Archive to photograph these artifacts.

The photographic works in this exhibition are an attempt to address – historically, poetically, and visually – all that is still gone since the beginning of the post-nuclear age, 70 years ago. After Hiroshima is a soliloquy to the potential that a nonviolent image has to speak for something so violent as nuclear warfare; to the limitations of visual representation itself.  

As James Elkins wrote in his essay on this series, “making images of ladders, bottles, combs, and leaves is a way of saying: I cannot represent what happened to people in Hiroshima, because I cannot re-present it as art. It’s not that the people who suffered could not, cannot, or should not, be represented: it is that they cannot be re-presented in a fine art context. All that is left for art is to look aside, at other things, at surrogates, at things so ordinary and empty that they evoke, unexpectedly but intensely, the world of pain. I am not sure if this is ethically sufficient, but I think in this case it feels ethically necessary."

elin o’Hara slavick has exhibited her work throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. She is the author of Bomb After Bomb: A Violent Cartography (Charta, 2007), with a forward by Howard Zinn, and After Hiroshima (Daylight Books, 2013), with an essay by James Elkins. elin o’Hara slavick was nominated for the 2015 Prix de Pictet. Slavick is currently the Director of Graduate Studies and a Professor of Visual Art, Theory, and Practice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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